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Our tour of Scotland’s most beautiful castles

Part of the United Kingdom, Scotland is a land rich in myths and legends and well-known for its fantastic castles. With over 400, you will have no lack of choice, but in case you can’t decide, here are our top five.

Scotland, a land of misty lochs, rolling hills and wild moorland is literally oozing with history, myths and culture. Medieval history is particularly interesting due to the many famous castles, brochs and duns still standing from that era. With over 400 castles in Scotland itself, be they in ruins or perfectly preserved, crowning a village or lying next to a lake; there is truly something for everyone. If you only have a few days, I have selected five particularly outstanding castles for you. 
 

Dunnottar

Dunnottar castle is only a few miles from Stonehaven in Eastern Scotland. Dunnottar is a beautiful medieval fortress built on a rocky outcrop by a cliff overhanging the sea at a height of 50m/164ft. Erected in the 13th century, its ruins and stunning natural scenery are greatly prized by amateur photographers.

 

Urquhart

On the banks of Loch Ness, Urquhart castle is another beautiful site, whose tower looms over the mysterious Loch Ness, flanked by lovely green gardens that paint an exquisite contrast with the ruins. Urquhart played a significant role during the Scottish wars of independence.

 

Eilean Donan

Perhaps Scotland’s most iconic castle, notably for its photogenic façade. Built during the 13th century to defend against the numerous Viking incursions, Eilean Donan Castle was built above Loch Duich and is connected to the continent only by a small stone bridge. A jaw-dropping sight.

 

Kilchurn

Kilchurn castle is situated to the north of Loch Awe, near Dalmally in Argyll, at the foot of one of Scotland’s highest peaks. To further add to the appeal, the castle is perched on a small rocky outcrop.

 

Glamis

The 57km²/22mi² estate around Glamis Castle serves as a canvas to Scotlands most impressive castle. To the north of Perth, this imposing 17C edifice was, notably ,the childhood home of the “Queen Mother”, mother to Elizabeth II; but also served as a set for a performance of Shakespeare’s “Macbeth”. And those are just two of the interesting titbits surrounding the castle, but if you were to ask the locals, they would tell you of legends and curses…

 

The tourist attractions mentioned

Dunnottar Castle Dunnottar Castle
Dunnottar Castle
Stonehaven
1:30
Loch Ness Loch Ness
Loch Ness
Drumnadrochit
0:30
Eilean Donan Castle Eilean Donan Castle
Eilean Donan Castle
Dornie
1:00
Glamis Castle Glamis Castle
Glamis Castle
Glamis
1:30